The owner of a sauna in which two women died earlier this year received a
suspended sentence from a court in Jičín on Wednesday. The women, who
were a mother and daughter aged 65 and 45, died after being unable to exit
the sauna after the door handle broke and they were unable to break a
The sauna, which had not received building approval, was in a garden colony and was used by the owner and his friends. He was fined CZK 5,341 in connection with the deaths.
Only nine people will stand for the post of Czech president in elections in
January after 11 would-be candidates were found to have deficiencies in
their applications, Czech Television reported on Wednesday. The eleven have
been given eight days to rectify the shortcomings. However, they have
effectively been disqualified as the Ministry of the Interior said there
was insufficient time for them to do so.
Among those in the running are the incumbent Miloš Zeman, former prime minister Mirek Topolánek and academic Jiří Drahoš.
The head of France’s far-right National Front, Marine Le Pen, is due to
appear at a conference in Prague alongside Tomio Okamura of the Czech
Republic’s Freedom and Direct Democracy party early next month,
Aktuálně.cz reported on Wednesday.
The news site said that another anti-European Union and anti-migrant politician, Geert Wilders of the Dutch Party for Freedom, may also speak at the conference. The event’s date and venue have not been announced.
Freedom and Direct Democracy are associated with the Europe of Nations and Freedom group in the European Parliament, which includes the parties of Le Pen and Wilders.
Staff at Czech banks and insurance offices have declared a state of strike
alert over their pay conditions. The OSPPP banking and insurance workers
union announced the move in response to what they say is the unwillingness
of their employers to agree to an acceptable collective agreement.
A spokesperson for the union said protests would be held at individual banks and insurance offices. The OSPPP has around 8,000 members in a sector in which tens of thousands are employed.
The police have made a breakthrough in their investigation into an attack
on tennis star Petra Kvitová at her home last December, the Czech News
Agency reported. They are due to make an announcement at a news conference
on Thursday but the news is not believed to relate to the capture of her
Two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitová required extensive surgery after a knife attack in her apartment building that left her with severe injuries on her main playing hand.
The Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, TOP 09 and the Mayors and
Independents have formed a group called Democratic Bloc with a view to
taking a common position when the first session of the new Chamber of
Deputies is held next Monday.
The parties said on Wednesday that they would not vote for ANO’s Radek Vondráček as speaker of the lower house and would demand two deputy speakers posts and the leadership of seven committees.
The Civic Democrats’ chairman Petr Fiala said he had planned to run for the post of speaker but that this was now pointless as ANO, the Communists, Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Pirates were going to back Mr. Vondráček.
TOP O9’s Miroslav Kalousek said it would now be clear who supported what he called the "project" of ANO chief Andrej Babiš and President Miloš Zeman. ANO won last month’s elections with almost 30 percent of the vote and are working on forming a minority government.
Czech car maker Škoda Auto is reported to have sold 107,400 cars in
October, which is an increase by 9.7 percent on the previous year. The
company’s sales went up by 11.3 percent in Europe, by 23.8 percent in
Russia and by 7.7 percent in India.
Despite a drop in sales, Škoda Octavia remains the company’s best-selling model with 37,100 cars delivered to the market in October, followed by the Škoda Rapid with 18,300 cars.
In tennis, two-times Davis Cup winner Radek Štěpánek has officially
announced the end of his professional career. The 38-year-old, a former
eighth best singles tennis player of the world and a bronze medalist in
mixed doubles from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
In 2006, he advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinal. In total, he gained five ATP titles. In doubles, he won two grand slam tournaments. Along with Indian Leander Paes, he was the winner of the Australian Open 2012 and the US Open 2013.
Another phase of a clean-up of the sludge oil lagoons left by the former
chemical plant Ostramo in Ostrava got underway on Tuesday. Some 200,000
tonnes of waste was removed in the past but thousands more were
The tender to remove an additional 90,000 tonnes of the chemical dredge was won by the company AVE CZ in 2015. The oil and chemical lagoon in Ostrava is considered a major ecological disaster for the Czech Republic.